December 12, 2016 / 11:23 AM / 9 months ago

Soccer-Nacional, Guarani crowned champions in South America

Dec 12 (Reuters) - Three-times South American champions Nacional of Uruguay and Paraguay’s Guarani will both play in next year’s Copa Libertadores after winning their domestic league titles on Sunday.

Atletico Nacional are also sure of their place in the region’s elite club competition in 2017 as holders despite their elimination in the semi-finals of the Colombian championship.

Atletico, whose first-team squad are in Japan for the Club World Cup, fielded a junior team in their semi-final second leg against Santa Fe and were hammered 4-0 at home in Medellin for a 5-1 aggregate defeat. The seniors had drawn the first leg 1-1 in Bogota in midweek before leaving for Japan.

Santa Fe will face Deportes Tolima in the two-leg final with the winners qualifying for the Libertadores.

Guarani clinched the Paraguayan championship with a game to spare after a 3-0 win at Sportivo Luqueno gave them an unassailable four-point lead over Olimpia before next weekend’s final round of matches.

Nacional beat Boston River 1-0 to clinch their 46th league title on the final day of the Uruguayan championship.

Others teams crowned champions last week were Universidad de Chile and Barcelona SC of Ecuador. (Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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